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South Carolina Child Pornography Lawyer

Charges related to the possession, distribution, and creation are extremely serious matters. The crime itself has such a negative connotation that a person accused of a crime involving child pornography are often assumed guilty before even a single piece of evidence has been presented. For this reason and many others, anyone facing charges of child pornography-related crime would be wise to seek the counsel of a seasoned South Carolina child pornography lawyer whose experience may be essential to mounting an effective defense.

With the right guidance, an aggressive and discreet child pornography attorney could help an accused person overcome preconceived notions of guilt and work to mitigate the life-altering repercussions of a potential conviction.

Child Pornography Laws in South Carolina

Anyone in South Carolina—whether they are over or under the age of 18—can be prosecuted under South Carolina’s child pornography laws and, if convicted, be required to register as a sex offender. Violations of these laws, as outlined in South Carolina Code of Laws Sections 16-15-395, 16-15-405, and 16-15-410, can be classified in one of three degrees of consequence:

  • First-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, or production of child pornography, carries a mandatory minimum sentence upon conviction of at least three years in prison, with a maximum of up to twenty years.
  • Second-degree exploitation of a minor, or dissemination and/or reproduction of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years imprisonment upon conviction, up to a maximum of ten years.
  • Third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, or possession of child pornography, does not have any minimum sentencing requirements, but at the discretion of the court, can result in up to ten years in prison for anyone convicted of the charge.

All of these charges are felonies under South Carolina law, which means they all carry immensely severe consequences. A South Carolina child pornography lawyer may be able to help defend an accused party in court.

What Could a Child Pornography Lawyer Do?

While a charge of child pornography may seem daunting and insurmountable, there are in fact factors that may help the accused mount a successful defense. If photos or files are hidden within legal materials, and the accused was not aware that they possessed child pornography, a skilled South Carolina child pornography attorney may be able to argue that a defendant’s actions do not qualify as possession of child pornography under the letter of the law. The prosecution must prove that the accused had actual knowledge of possessing illegal materials in order to attain a conviction for sexual exploitation of a minor in the third-degree. Furthermore, if the police take illegal materials into possession without legally obtaining a warrant, it could be considered an unlawful search by police authorities, and any materials seized may be deemed inadmissible in court.

It is important to note, however, that under no circumstances will mistake of age be considered a valid defense against charges of sexual exploitation of a minor in the first or second-degree in South Carolina. In the same vein, Section 16-15-410-B of the South Carolina Code of Laws establishes the assumption that someone who possesses child pornography should reasonably be able to identify its nature from its title, text, and/or visual representation, and as such often cannot be considered ignorant of that fact.

Consulting a South Carolina Child Pornography Attorney

If you are facing a charge of child pornography, an experienced South Carolina child pornography lawyer could examine the details of your case and work on your behalf to achieve a positive outcome. Call today to schedule a consultation. Work with a skilled defense attorney that could fight tirelessly in your defense.